Should You Always Help in a Disaster?

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Health care providers faced with a natural disaster or crisis have a tough decision to make.
Health care providers faced with a natural disaster or crisis have a tough decision to make.

Injuries and illnesses commonly occur during and after hurricanes and other natural disasters. Besides drownings, carbon monoxide poisonings, and electrocutions, many people experience falls, lacerations, and exposure to mold and chemicals. Those with chronic conditions also suffer symptoms requiring medical assistance.

Physicians who choose to help outside of their normal work may be concerned about liability. Other physicians desiring to evacuate with their families, rather than stay behind, may worry about job dismissal.

Renal & Urology News invites its nephrologist and urologist readers to answer the following poll question:

Disaster Helpline

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry provides a disaster response clinical consultation service to health care providers responding to a crisis. Questions can be emailed to CDC IMS Clinical Inquiries at eocevent168@cdc.gov. Call CDC-INFO agents at 1–800-CDC-INFO (1–800–232–4636) Monday through Friday from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern time. Or submit an online form (https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/ContactUs/Form).

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